The mercury climbed several notches across Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh due to overcast conditions on Monday even as the region braces for a fresh spell of snow and rainfall in the next couple of days, a meteorological department official said.
However, severe cold wave continues in the two Union territories with the minimum temperature continuing to hover several degrees below the season’s average.
“An active western disturbance is most likely to affect the UTs of J and K and Ladakh from Tuesday night to December 14 forenoon. Under the influence of this weather system, widespread moderate rain or snow is expected in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions,” the official said quoting an advisory issued by the department.
He said light rain or snow would commence at a few places in Kashmir on Tuesday night and thereafter increase in intensity and distribution.
“The main activity of this system will be moderate to heavy rain or snow, most likely during December 12 and 13 and gradual decrease thereafter,” the official said.
The system is likely to cause heavy rain or snow mainly in the Pirpanjal range of the Jammu division (from Bhaderwah to Banihal), upper reaches of Kashmir (Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Baramulla and Kupwara) and the Drass sub-division of Ladakh and likely to impact the surface and air transportation, he added.
Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, witnessed an increase of over five notches in the night temperature, which settled at minus 21.4 degrees Celsius, while Leh was freezing at a low of minus 14.9 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s minus 16.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Srinagar, which was reeling under cold wave over the past week, recorded a low of minus 2.9 degrees Celsius — 2.3 degrees below the season’s average, bringing some sort of relief to the people.
Srinagar had recorded the coldest night of the season on Sunday with a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius, resulting in the freezing of water bodies including the fringes of the famous Dal Lake besides the water taps in residential areas.
The winter capital, Jammu, also marked an improvement in the night temperature, which settled at 8.9 degrees Celsius, 1.1 degrees below the normal during this time of the season, the official said.
This year, the wintry conditions engulfed the region early following moderate to heavy snowfall, first of the season, on November 7.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir was the coldest recorded place in the valley with a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius despite marking an improvement of over one degree, the official said.
The minimum temperature in the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 3.7 degrees Celsius in Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir, he said.
Katra, which serves as the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of the Jammu region, recorded a low of 8.4 degrees Celsius, the official said, adding the Bhadarwah township of Doda district was, however, the coldest recorded place in the region with a minimum temperature of 1.8 degrees Celsius.